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Biol Reprod. 1987 Oct;37(3):665-74.

In vitro regulation of pig Sertoli cell growth and function: effects of fibroblast growth factor and somatomedin-C.

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  • 1INSERM U 307, Hôpital Debrousse, Lyon, France.


The effects of insulin, somatomedin-C (Sm-C), epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), vitamin E, and retinoic acid on growth and function of immature cultured pig Sertoli cells were investigated. All these factors, except vitamin E, stimulated Sertoli cell DNA synthesis and proliferation. The mitogenic effects of insulin observed only at micromolar concentrations were similar to those induced by nanomolar concentrations of Sm-C or EGF, but significantly less than those induced by FGF. The effects of EGF and Sm-C were almost additive, whereas those of Sm-C and FGF were synergistic. After a 6-day treatment, FGF and retinoic acid induced a significant increase in the number of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptors per cell, and in FSH-induced cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) production. Sm-C, which alone had no effect on these two parameters, potentiated FGF action. Basal plasminogen activator activity was enhanced after the 6-day treatment with EGF plus insulin and, particularly, with FGF plus insulin. Similarly, the response of the latter group to FSH was significantly higher than in any other group of cells. FGF was also able to stimulate cell multiplication and enhanced the FSH receptor number of Sertoli cells isolated from 15- and 26-day-old rats. Thus, FGF is the most potent known mitogenic factor for cultured Sertoli cells, and it stimulates the phenotypic expression of these cells.

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